Republican Congress candidates set two debates

Republican Congress candidates Matt Doheny of Watertown and Elise Stefanik of Willsboro have agreed to participate in two televised debates, before they face off in a June 24 primary election.

The tentative dates for the debates are set for May 27 and June 12.

“We’re excited to participate in the debates and present our ideas about growing our economy and creating jobs throughout the North Country,” Stefanik wrote by email. “Our message continues to resonate with voters in the district and we appreciate this opportunity to share our vision for new ideas and new leadership with a large audience.”

“This is a huge district and the primary is literally just a few weeks away,” Doheny wrote in a press release. “I think it’s important we give voters the opportunity to see us side by side and hear our views on the future of the North Country.”

This decision comes soon after both candidates had a disagreement over petition challenges they submitted to the state Board of Elections.

James Walsh, an attorney for the Stefanik campaign, claimed Doheny inflated his numbers on his petitions, calling it “questionable tactics.” Doheny spokesman David Catalfamo responded by saying it was sad the Stefanik campaign would “stoop to that level” in a “desperate attempt” to get press.

The debates will be hosted by Time Warner Cable and WWNY in Watertown, along with other partners.